ALMOST half of students and recent graduates have a second job, according to a new survey. But what are the benefits and pitfalls?

Money can be particularly tight at this time of year, but one trend helping to combat this is taking on a sideline job - aka a 'side hustle'.

Side hustles are jobs undertaken in addition to studying or having a full-time job, in order to provide additional income, although some people may take them on to help grow towards a particular goal or simply for enjoyment. And they've become very popular - more than two-fifths (42%) of students and recent graduates have a second job, according to a survey from graduate jobs board

Here's a closer look at why side hustles are so common, and what the benefits and drawbacks can be...

What types of work are people taking on as a side hustle?

Work in hospitality and events was found to be the most popular side hustle, perhaps because of the flexible working hours these can bring, followed by work in the retail sector. Others have sideline jobs in education, creative arts and design, sales, media and banking and finance.

So what financial benefits can having a side hustle bring?

For many, it's about plugging gaps in their day-to-day living costs. More than four in 10 (43%) of those with a side hustle in Milkround's survey say they wouldn't be able to afford their rent without taking on the extra work.

What other benefits are there to taking on a side hustle?

While side hustles can plug gaps in your budget, their benefits can also be much more long-term. Many people enjoy the creativity they get from their second job, and say it widens their social circle.

How about the downsides?

You may need to be prepared to sacrifice a big chunk of your social life and work out how you will juggle a side hustle with your main job or education. Nearly a third (30%) of people with a side hustle are sacrificing eight to 10 hours a week or more on it, Milkround found.

What should people consider before taking on a side hustle?

A side hustle can be a big commitment, so it may well help if you are taking on something that you are passionate about or that could help you along your desired career path in the future.

Anything else to keep in mind?

The Money Advice Service website suggests checking your contract with your main employer to make sure there are no conflicts between your regular work and your new sideline project. There may also be tax implications from taking on additional work to consider, so make sure you are clear about this.